Sports

More relaxed at No. 2, but Park wants top ranking

Being No. 2 in the world is "a lot more relaxing" than topping the world rankings, according to South Korean golfer Park Inbee.

The 26-year-old would know.

She was the world's top woman golfer from April 2013 to June last year, and from October last year till early last month, before ceding her position to New Zealand teen sensation Lydia Ko.

Although the pressure and expectations are lesser as the world No. 2, Park (below) says she prefers to have her throne back, thank you very much.

At a media conference after her pro-am session at the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course yesterday, Park said: "I've been in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots before, and the latter is a lot more relaxing a position, I guess.

"You don't have as much pressure as the No. 1, and people probably expect a little bit less than you being in the No. 1 spot.

"But I'm trying to play the same game when I was No. 1 - I've experienced being in that position before and I feel like I'm mature and ready for the position.

"Obviously I let Lydia have my No. 1 position earlier this year, so if I can capture that back at some point, that would be a very good goal to have."

The five-time Major winner - at 19, she was the youngest winner of the US Open in 2008 - has also made it her career goal to win the British Open, the last of the traditional four Majors which she has yet to win.

"My main goal is winning the British Open, that would be my dream until I retire, until I get that win," said Park, whose best finish in the tournament was second, in 2012.

She has already won the ANA Inspiration (2013), LPGA Championship (2013, 2014), US Open (2008, 2013), while the Evian Championship was added as a Major only in 2013.

She finished tied-10th at that tournament last year.

SLOWER START

Park felt she had a slower start than in recent years, but now feels warmed-up already and ready to wrest back her top-dog status from 17-year-old Ko.

Park finished tied-13th in the Coates Golf Championship presented by R+L Carriers in late January, tied-fifth in the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic last month, and tied-seventh at the Honda LPGA Thailand last week.

She said: "I was a little rusty in my first tournament and didn't play as well as I wanted to, but the last two tournaments have been good.

"I started the last couple of seasons really good.

"I won or finished second in my first tournament in the last two years so, compared to that, it has been a slower start this year.

"But it's not that bad of a start, and I feel like I'm warmed-up now."